Santa Clarita is on its way to becoming the “Best in the West.”
Members of city council and community leaders came together Thursday afternoon to discuss Santa Clarita’s latest programs, projects, services and developments at the annual State of the City luncheon.
“We’re honored to be here sharing some of the achievements with you that made Santa Clarita one of the top cities,” Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar said.
City Council Members attributed much of the city’s success to the hard work and dedication of its employees and community partners.
Kellar also thanked Gail Morgan, Santa Clarita’s communications manager, for her many years of service and dedication to the community before her impending retirement this December.
“Yes we’re proud of what we were able to do here in this city and in this valley, but none of it would be possible if it wasn’t for all of our people working here together,” he said.
A topic of focus during the luncheon was the city’s five-year 2020 strategic plan, which drove nearly all of the last fiscal year’s projects and programs.
In terms of public infrastructure, the city completed its Road Rehab project to maintain the city’s street, updated the medians along Valencia Boulevard to save water, finished the Golden Valley Bridge Widening Project and began the Concrete Rehabilitation Program to improve city sidewalks.
“By the year 2020 the city will replace many of the damaged and cracked sidewalks, curbs and gutters in Santa Clarita,” Kellar said.
Thanks to business partnerships, national and international sporting events, company growth in the area and productions filming in the valley, Santa Clarita gained new revenue and tourism dollars this year.
The city added more than 11,000 jobs since 2011, and generated an estimated $31 million in economic benefit from film productions this year, according to Mayor Pro Tem Dante Acosta.
“It’s one of the most business friendly cities in Los Angeles County,” Acosta said.
With its conservative budget and modest spending habits, Santa Clarita was able to create a healthier bottom line and a reserve of 20 percent preparing it for emergencies and financial needs, Kellar said.
To build public safety, the city is working to construct the new Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, promote drug prevention among youth through the Drug Free Youth In Town Program (DFYIT) and annual “Teens Talk Drugs” symposium, and encourage utilization of the Domestic Intervention Violence Education Resource Team (DIVERT).
City Council Members also expressed their desire to brand Old Town Newhall as Santa Clarita’s arts and entertainment district with cultural activities and systems, public arts programs and community entertainment programs through the city’s Arts Masterplan.
Councilmember Laurene Weste celebrated Santa Clarita’s ownership of nearly 9,000 publically-owned acres of land in the city’s Green Belt and the development of the city’s hiking trails, biking trails and the multi-use Sand Canyon Trail.
“Our city is devoted to preserving open space in and around Santa Clarita,” she said.
Altogether, members of the city council expressed their gratitude for continued community support during the past 12 months.
“When a community comes together to support a cause, progress becomes reality,” Councilmember Marsha McLean said.
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